I am always amazed by 'reformers" who think that more government control is the way to curb business influence over public policy. In fact, more government control usually simply means that the regulators become the captive of big business, to the detriment of smaller business.
Thus, yesterday's story in The Sacramento Bee elicits no surprise, at least from me. Per the Bee,
The chairman of California's Fair Political Practices Commission,Ross Johnson,said widespread overseas travel by top state climate and energy officials on the tab of nonprofits funded by industry "raises very serious questions of propriety."
...more than two dozen top climate and energy officials, at least 19 legislators, more than 30 business executives and a handful of spouses and partners have participated in such trips since 2006. Much of the financial support for the trips comes from energy and utility companies that are major greenhouse gas emitters.
To paraphrase Milton Friedman, the two greatest enemies of the free market are academicians and businessmen. Large companies ultimately sign on to proposed government regulation because they are convinced they can engineer loopholes into the regulations and, indeed, use the regulations as barriers to competition.
You wonder when "progressives" will ever learn that giving more power to their beloved government regulators quite often really means giving more influence to the progressives' nominal nemesis, big business.
You can read the complete Bee article at http://www.sacbee.com/capitolandcalifornia/story/2070986.html.